Have you got ERP in place?
Any forward-thinking organisation worth its salt will have taken the time and energy to invest in a tried and trusted ERP system to take care of its departments and business functions. There’ll be a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programme to help manage your customers, their life cycles and experiences. The accounts department couldn’t operate without all-embracing financial software to ensure the right budgetary decisions are being made and controls over finances optimised. The same applies to project managers and their productivity, and IT departments and their handling of data and its processes, not to mention the logistics and supply chain management teams…
Well, considering the cost of commissioning the best-fit business systems you researched so thoroughly and implemented so painstakingly, you’d assume these were the applications to answer every call. Truth is, employing multiple business systems to manage, track, report and process will never be the best approach or, crucially, the best use of your resources, your data – or your budget.
It takes a powerful ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software solution to bring together your processes and people and to integrate the data that’s likely to be held on a myriad disparate systems. Quite simply choosing the right ERP system can end up being the best business decision you will make.
What is ERP software and what can it do for my business?
An ERP system is designed to act as a three-dimensional platform that integrates every department in an organisation, enabling them to collaborate using the latest, single-source data, perform smarter with a more agile workflow cycle, improve productivity, cut costs and optimise efficiency across all business processes.
This is unified business technology, with functionality, flexibility and ROI at the heart of decision-making when it comes to organisational software solutions. It is little wonder the majority of business owners are opting to invest in the right ERP software when it’s time to upgrade or replace their legacy systems.
The fact is, despite the often substantial investment required to implement an effective ERP solution, the cost of failing to make the leap will far outweigh it; the benefits of ERP and its impact on your profitability can’t be underestimated.
ERP software brings everyone together
Nothing harmonises an organisation and brings its departments and people together like a robust ERP solution. From accounting, sales and purchasing, to HR, project management, the supply chain and customer service departments, a unified ERP application enables everyone to communicate, collaborate, convey and make decisions based on real-time information that’s accessible to all.
No more data silos
Data collected from every sales, accounting, purchasing, inventory and supply chain interaction is stored in a single location ensuring your data will instantly become meaningful, consistent and accurate. Plus you’ll have a world of actionable insights, analytics and relevant reporting at your fingertips. Integrated information means avoiding the curse of data duplication, manual data entry and error and ensuring the real-time information that’s so critical to decision making and productivity is available to everyone.
Effective ERP software will ensure you remain compliant. Not just with regard to your financials, but industry-specific regulations can also be monitored and affected, leaving you up to date, auditable and covered as every change is made.
Room to evolve and grow with your business
The right ERP system will be tailored to suit your business upon adoption. It will also be robust and flexible enough to accommodate change and sufficiently scalable to grow with you and your new resources when the time comes.
Enjoy cloud-based collaboration
When your ERP system takes you to the cloud, you’ll not only enjoy more integration with other cloud services, you’ll be giving your people instant access to a centralised business resource – wherever they’re working, whatever device they are using, regardless of time zone boundaries. Research also shows that migrating to the cloud can help organisations boost performance and encourage growth too.
Put the customer first
When you’ve got instant access to every customer’s journey, their data and their transactional history, you’re well on the way to offering an experience they’ll remember for all the right reasons and a brand they’ll remain loyal to. A sophisticated ERP solution will be stacked with client-critical features to help you deliver value to your customers at every touchpoint. The result: prioritised tasks, better sales lead identification, more opportunities to upsell, cross-sell and renew – and an exceptional customer service resource that works harder to strengthen relationships.
A reporting and forecasting dream
Choosing the right ERP solution will give everyone the tools they need to forecast accurately based on relevant, real-time data and actionable insights. This applies to reporting too. The ability to create customised reports that make complex data requests a seamless exercise without having to rely on IT departments is an invaluable resource.
Stay safe with powerful data security
Data breaches and losses are the scourge of any IT department and the ramifications of being insufficiently protected can be catastrophic. Your ERP software should give you complete peace of mind when it comes to data security. Built in security safeguards and firewalls mean the accuracy, consistency and protection of your data will never be compromised.
Meet and exceed efficiency and productivity goals
Your ERP system should be designed to deliver new levels of efficiency, productivity and agility. You’ll get streamlined business processes that eliminate the duplication of tasks and data entry, make it easy to collect, share and exploit data and, thanks to newly slick processes and automated workflows, you’ll increase productivity too.
Overtake your rivals to unlock your competitive edge
Just because you might not have bitten the ERP bullet yet, don’t assume the rivals in your industry are playing the waiting game and sticking to their trusty, but antiquated business systems until cashflow improves or a catastrophe occurs. There’s invaluable ROI to be achieved with a tailored ERP implementation that can deliver transformational change and a marked improvement to your bottom line, not to mention a competitive edge that could see your performance exceed your business strategy objectives.
Which ERP solution is right for my business?
Your first step is to talk to an implementation consultant who has the requisite expertise in world-class ERP software and a highly qualified team with the skill sets and experience your industry demands. Since you’ll be embarking on a long-term relationship with your ERP implementation consultant, you’ll want the reassurance of a responsive team of specialists who’ll be onside throughout your deployment and beyond with tangible support that’ll help you get the best from your solution.
An implementation consultant with experience of your market sector and business model and who speaks your language is best placed to advise you on choosing the right ERP solution based on your business case. If your strategy calls for an end-to-end business programme that’ll consolidate and harmonise your departments and evolve with you as you grow, your consultant is likely to steer you in the direction of industry-leading ERP software solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Microsoft Dynamics is a platform that is designed with the needs of small and medium-sized businesses in mind. It gives users control over their financial and business data, a suite of collaborative sales and management features and, crucially, the ability to implement and start quickly with the ability to scale up when business strategy allows.
The ERP system of choice for a legion of corporate success stories, Dynamics 365 Business Central is built on a foundation of technologies that continue to service over 160,000 customers and millions of international users. The reassurance of buying into a Microsoft product with its familiar user interface and proven integration qualities is undoubtedly a USP that many who are ready for ERP take-up will factor into their decision.
Not only that, but if the outstanding functionality, flexibility, ease of implementation and anytime, anywhere access of Business Central doesn’t give you enough confidence to embark on your ERP journey, you’ll be collaborating with a Microsoft Gold Partner. That relationship will ensure you have the support of a proven, credible supplier with an unrivalled allegiance to the powerful Microsoft Dynamics suite as you work hand-in-hand on your ERP transition.
Implementing your ERP solution
Implementation of Business Central involves a robust, pragmatic methodology that begins with high level planning and analysis of the business environment and the building of an experienced team of key stakeholders. The team will then begin defining key business users, transferring their knowledge, setting project plans, milestones, timescales and objectives – all the time adhering to a strict change control process.
Partnering with the right implementation consultant will give you the confidence you’re adopting the most appropriate ERP platform for your business and that your transition will be as seamless as it can be. You’ll also know that your investment will remain in safe hands as you deploy, go live and set about transformative change.
If you want to find out more about implementing the right ERP system or to discuss whether Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365 Business Central are the right ERP solutions for you, please get in touch today and we’ll arrange a free demonstration to show you why they are.